UNICEF South Africa launches public access development research database

By | 28 January 2009

Pretoria – UNICEF South Africa has for the first time made the South Africa Development Indicators database system available for public access. South Africa Development Indicators is used to compile and disseminate data on human development, and in particular the situation of children in South Africa.

The database currently consists of 6,650 entries against 128 indicators organised according to Millennium Development Goals and key sectors such as demography, economy, education, environment, health, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, and protection. Data is available mainly for the period 1994 to 2008 at national, provincial, and for some indicators even district level. There is also information available for each indicator which provides the relevant definition, methodology and additional comments.

“We have incorporated data from various sources into the system – Government departments, agencies and research institutions, such as Statistics South Africa, the Departments of Health, Education, National Treasury, and many more”, says Roumiana Gantcheva, Head of the Monitoring & Evaluation Unit in UNICEF South Africa.

“Users have access to a wealth of information. They can analyse trends and progress towards development goals, and present statistics in a visually attractive manner by creating tables, graphs and maps. We hope the system will strengthen the use of data for policy making, planning, monitoring and advocacy.”

South Africa Development Indicators can be accessed online from the UNICEF website or can be installed on your PC from a CD that can be ordered from UNICEF at no cost.

The user interface is easy to navigate and is the same in both the desktop and web version. The data can be exported into a number of useful formats – such as XLS, XML, HTML or PDF. Powerful wizards lead users through the process of creating tables, graphs and maps that can be included in reports, presentations, and advocacy materials. An e-learning module, accessible from the UNICEF South Africa website, provides a step-by-step presentation of the various features. There is also a User’s Guide to assist with any queries.

South Africa Development Indicators is a customised country version of DevInfo, a platform initially developed by UNICEF and globally adopted by the UN to assist the UN and Member States in tracking progress toward the Millennium Development Goals.
The most common DevInfo users include UN country teams, national statistical offices, planning ministries, district planners and researchers. Frequent users also comprise members of the media and educational institutions.

For more information please access the UNICEF South Africa website on www.unicef.org/southafrica and follow the South Africa Development Indicators link from the homepage or contact Bjorn Gelders on bgelders@unicef.org or phone:+27 (0) 12 354 8287.

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